Amber Valley Wines
25% off private tours & tastings – quote the code ‘GFCTT25’ when booking here.
Anyone brave enough to plant their own vineyard in the middle of rural Derbyshire gets a nod of respect from Great Food Club. That’s exactly what Duncan Mercer and Barry Lewis did in early 2011, when they toiled to dig their vines into a gentle south-west facing slope in the Amber Valley. The fruits of their labour have now arrived, with bottles of Lindway White and Pink available.
“English wine is on the rise and we wanted to follow our dream of making wine here in Derbyshire,” says Duncan. “We’re both passionate about wine in general, with Barry having spent time in France and me in Australia. We found each other through River Cottage’s Landshare website.”
Today Amber Valley vineyard is slowly maturing and is well on the way to producing enough grapes for its first commercial bottles, which will be ready in 2015. Grape varieties growing at Amber Valley Wines include Seyval Blanc, Phoenix and Solaris. “People think ‘how can you grow grapes in Derbyshire’?” says Duncan. “But it’s all about choosing the right varieties – we grow hybrid grapes, designed specially for our climate.”
Duncan and Barry’s dream is to establish a geographic identity for Derbyshire wine and encourage further grape growing in their home county. “We believe that the Amber Valley provides the best wine-producing conditions in the north of England,” says Duncan. “We think we will be able to make excellent whites and rosés. We get our inspiration from the likes of Three Choirs Vineyard in Gloucestershire and the Bolney Estate in Sussex.”
With their Adopt-A-Vine scheme and vineyard tours, Amber Valley Wines want as many people who share their passion as possible to join them, and enjoy the journey of making Derbyshire wine.